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Reddit aired a 5-second commercial during the Super Bowl and it was a hit

The ad arrived weeks after Redditors took on Wall Street by inflating the value of GameStop shares

Pedestrians pass a GameStop store on 14th Street at Union Square, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the Manhattan borough of New York.
Pedestrians pass a GameStop store on 14th Street at Union Square, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the Manhattan borough of New York.
Associated Press

One of the most talked-about commercials from the 2021 Super Bowl also happened to be one of the shortest commercials.

After the conclusion of The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show performance on Sunday evening, the online message board site Reddit aired a five-second advertisement that, according to The New York Times, was considered one of the most effective commercials of the entire broadcast.

CNN reports that the advertisement opened as if it were a generic car commercial, but then quickly transitioned to Reddit’s orange and white logo before displaying a lengthy written message that would have required onlookers to pause their TVs to be able to read it.

According to the Times, many viewers thought the CBS broadcast was experiencing a glitch when they first saw the ad.

Thousands of viewers didn’t have the opportunity to see the commercial as it was not a part of the national slate of advertisement for CBS’ Super Bowl LV telecast, Variety reports, though it did air in nine of the top 10 national markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and San Francisco.

Shortly after the commercial made its cable debut, Reddit uploaded the unorthodox commercial on Twitter for all to see.

Here’s what the advertisement’s written message says:

“Wow, this actually worked.

“If you’re reading this, it means our bet paid off.

“Big game spots are expensive, so we couldn’t buy a full one. But we were inspired and decided to spend our entire marketing budget on 5 seconds of airtime. One thing we learned from our communities last week is that underdogs can accomplish anything when they come together around a common idea.

“Who knows, maybe you’ll be the reason finance textbooks have to add a chapter on ‘tendies.’ Maybe you’ll help r/SuperbOwl teach the world about the majesty of owls. Maybe you’ll even pause this 5-second ad.

“Powerful things happen when people rally around something they really care about. And there’s a place for that. It’s called Reddit.”

The advertisement arrived days after a team of Reddit users took on Wall Street pros by exponentially inflating the price of GameStop shares, as previously reported by the Deseret News.

Reddit’s chief marketing officer, Roxy Young, commented on the commercial and Reddit’s moment in the cultural spotlight saying, “I felt like, with all the conversation around Reddit, we had really earned the right to be in that Super Bowl moment, where there are millions of people tuned into a singular event” (via the The New York Times).

In a separate statement to CNN, she added, “I am really proud of what we were able to achieve with just five seconds and think it beautifully captures the heart of Reddit in our unique and brilliantly absurd tone.”